really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
7,813 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

The NHTSA is the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints can be spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem. See the Back button — blue bar at the very top of the page — to explore more.

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« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #12

Jan 292000

(reported on)


  • miles
Both the driver's side and passenger's side motor seat belts stopped working. Driver's side motor stopped moving. The seatbelt in the middle of the track. Sometimes I get hit in the head when I get out. The tool that came with the car to manually move the seat belt does not work. Luckily, the passenger side seat belt motor stopped when it was in the normal position. When going faster than 45 mph the speedometer jumps to 70 mph or faster and makes a weird noise.

- Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #11

Dec 171999


  • miles
The motor driven shoulder harness stopped in a forward position, making the shoulder harness unusable. It stopped in a position where you would bump your head on the belt lock as you entered the vehicle. I have talked with other Escort owners that have had the same failure. Given the amount of money paid to crash victims of much older vehicles, I think it is incumbent upon the manufacturer to guarantee the safety of passengers by providing a restraint system that works correctly for at least the average lifetime of a vehicle, not just three years. By the way, after being charged $250 for a repair, the belt worked once before failing again. Should I be in an accident between now and Monday when I can return to the dealers, I will not be protected by a shoulder harness. Being that an Escort is such a small car, I believe I'm at significant risk of injury should an accident occur. These kinds of failures should be fixed free, no questions asked.

- Westland, MI, USA

problem #10

Jan 011997


  • miles
Driver's shoulder belt got stuck which caused the driver's seatbelt to become inoperative and will not protect occupant in the event of a crash. Then the passenger's seatbelt malfunctioned. Currently, the driver's seatbelt malfunctioned again.

- Collierville, TN, USA

problem #9

Oct 051998


  • miles
The belt stopped in the track on drivers side. It is stuck. The motor cant be turn as indicated in the owners manual.

- Cheyenne, WY, USA

problem #8

Sep 041999


  • miles
Automatic front seat belts don't work properly. The belts are attached to door. Will not move along door track. Shorted out after following instructions. Taking vehicle to dealer to have them check it.

- Kansas City, MO, USA

problem #7

Mar 151999


  • miles
Driver's side motorized seat belt inoperable which resulted in failure to pass state required safety inspection, and car is illegal to drive except for repairs. Dealer replacement cost: $600+. manufacturer contacted and related there is nothing they would do as warranty is 5 yr/50,000.

- Haymarket, VA, USA

problem #6

Feb 251999

(reported on)


  • miles
My driverside automatic seatbelt has come off track, therefore leaving me with no driverside seatbelt. If I was to get in an accident, I would have to rely on the airbag only. If I get stopped by the police, then I will get a seatbelt ticket. Then I would have to pay a fine for something I couldn't control or better yet that Ford couldn't control. I called them and since my 50,000 mile safety restraint warranty was expired there was nothing that they could do for me. Now all I can do is hope I don't get in an accident or get pulled over because now my life is in Ford's hands (by their choice, not mine). I mean plain and simple, that's a lifesaving device that's just not there for me.

- Centralia, IL, USA

problem #5

Dec 241998


  • miles
Automatic seat belt failed to operate. Dealer notifed, and informed consumer that the cost would go to consumer because vehicle was out of warranty.

- Cummington, MS, USA

problem #4

Apr 011998


  • miles
Passenger was leaning forward when the brakes were applied and the shoulder belts did not retract or extend. The belts locked in postion after occupants heard a loud rattle and clunk sound from the rear cargo compartment.

- Little Roc, AR, USA

problem #3

Nov 261996


  • miles
Oxygen sensor failed; also automatic seat belts locked during deployment, injuring driver and wife and gas gauge malfunctioned, is off by at least 3 gallons.

- Racine, WI, USA

problem #2

Aug 311996


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Driver's side lap/shoulder belt failure, automatic shoulder belt retractor caused the seat belt to catch on the sunvisier

- Calfornia, CA, USA

problem #1

Oct 191996


  • miles
Car was in a flood while parked in the driveway, motorized seat belts began rattling on both sides and operated erratically.

- Valley Stream, NY, USA